Solve Different (2011 )

Prof. Oliver Fritz / Dr. Bernhard Rothbucher / Sven Richter

Today, one of the main demands of executive leadership is flexibility in thinking. But such flexibility not only concerns quick and confident choices amongst a range of alternatives, it also means to question the underlying frame of reference for decision-making – to open up new points of view. Today’s leaders have to be able to find ways to “think outside of box”. But as it might be relatively easy to revise a decision, it is less easy to give up a mind-set approved in use.


The tools and methods we effectively use for sense-making out of data every day also create gravity towards a restricted range of solutions. We forget about the underlying assumptions, and get unaware of the blind spots all individuals necessarily have. The use of a tool comes along with a myopia or even blindness against new information, innovative ideas or opportunities for rethinking. In consequence, companies, and their leaders get stuck in patterns of thinking that grow less, and less applicable in changing circumstances. Often, it is only a situation of crisis that forces leaders to rethink their assumptions, and points of view.


Therefore, it is the objective of the project “Solve Different” to make visible a way in which leaders can consciously unleash themselves from the fixation to certain patterns of thinking caused by the usage of their tools, and approaches. For a series of tools for visualising data, and decision-making, we will investigate the aspects that occur when we make aware the assumptions, and frameworks that rule their application. By means of our results, we would like to enable leaders to think outside the box to solve their decision problems differently.

Watch the presentation about this project on Slideshare